No home for refugees in Manus
|Australian Immigration Minister and Manus Governor Charlie Benjamin in 2013. Source: News Limited|
According to the Post Courier (November 7), the Governor was not aware of the National Executive Council (NEC) decision to finalize the process necessary to grant citizenship and engage skilled refugees.
Mr Benjamin said:
“It’s news to me and they will not find a home in Manus…they won’t be resettled here permanently, they are here to be moved to another country.”The Governor said he welcomed the prospect of asylum seekers being released and settled but it is not his long term vision for the province.
He said the detention of asylum seekers on the island was a part of the Australian Government’s off shore processing policy designed to discourage dangerous boat journeys to Australia, and Papua New Guinea (PNG) did not need to discomfort its own people while hosting another country’s burden.
Meanwhile, an Immigration Officer who wished to remain anonymous said the long term goals for refugees in the country remain unclear and workers are the government agency feels that more time should be spent on matters to do with the country.